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Experts: Fire System at Mac was Nearly Complete

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

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Less than two weeks after a massive fire at the Mackintosh building at Scotland's Glasgow School of Art, The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association revealed that large pumps for the fire suppression system had arrived the day before the blaze.

According to the association, it would have taken weeks to complete the installation, including connecting the pipework and water tanks.

Glasgow School of Art Fire

The blaze broke out in the 110-year-old Mackintosh building after 11 p.m. on June 15, with 120 firefighters and 20 engines on the scene. By the time crews arrived, flames had spread to the neighboring Campus nightclub and the O2 ABC music venue (one of the region’s most popular concert spots). No one was injured in the blaze.

The building, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and considered to be an art nouveau grade A-listed masterpiece, also caught fire in 2014 when a projector overheated and ignited flammable gases from a foam canister that was being used for an art project, destroying about a third of the building, including its library.

The building was still undergoing a 35-million-pound renovation from that incident, led by Kier Group, and was set to reopen next spring. Officials said there were no operational sprinklers at the site, something that many, including the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association, were calling into question.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Fire System Installation

Keith MacGillivray, chief executive of BAFSA, told BBC Scotland that the pumps for the fire suppression system were large, so they were delivered in component parts.

"It would have taken some weeks to reassemble the pumps and connect up the pipe work and obviously the water tanks would have had to be connected and put in place as well,” MacGillivray added.

The Glasgow City Council recently warned that the fire damage was so extensive, parts of the burnt-out walls could collapse without warning. Local residents have been unable to return to their homes, given that a safety cordon was placed in the vicinity of the building.

Initial surveys have since been carried out on the Mackintosh building, which raised significant concerns over the east and west elevations.

According to a Glasgow City Council spokesperson: “However, we are still working with The Glasgow School of Art and Historic Environment Scotland to devise a methodology to allow us to safely examine the building at closer quarters, which, we hope, will give us more clarity about its condition and any threat to public safety.”

The city council has so far been able to find accomodation for those who need it.


Tagged categories: Accidents; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Fire; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Safety

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